How Many Dogs & Cats Are in the UK? 2024 Pet Ownership Statistics UK

uk pet ownership

Anyone who’s ever spent time in the UK knows that pet owners don’t just shape pet ownership statistics but that pet-owning households share a way of life. Brits were the first to declare animals as sentient beings!

At a glance, 57% or more than half of British adults own 38 million pets. The UK Pet Food (formerly known as the Pet Food Manufacturers Association) has a vested interest in UK households that own a pet.

Their online survey of 9,000 households revealed that there is a 13.5 million registered dog population, which suggests that K-9s are still the most popular pet. UK cats lag slightly at 12.5 million, but don’t tell that to a cat; they don’t care!

Brits also share their homes with 1.5 million birds, 1.3 million domestic fowl, 700,000 tortoises and turtles, 1 million rabbits, 700,000 guinea pigs, 600,000 wheel-spinning hamsters, 600,000 snakes, and other reptiles.

This number does not include indoor or outdoor fish populations.

Here’s a look at the pet population statistics in UK households.

Key Stats At A Glance

How Many Dogs Are In The UK

How Many Dogs In The UK
  • In the UK, there are about 13.5 million pet dogs, with 36% of households owning at least one. As per stats of 2022, there were 13 million pet dogs in Britain.
top 10 pets in the UK
  • As per stats for 2023, 29% of UK adults have an estimated 11 million pet dogs. Previously, there were 10 million dogs, and 34% of UK households owned a dog.
how many cats and dogs in the uk
  • The most popular dog breed in the UK is the Labrador Retriever, taking 12% of the ownership.
  • According to Petplan, 78% of dogs in the UK reside in Northern Ireland.
  • In 2023, the UK has the highest number of dogs in Europe after Russia.

Facts About Dog Owners

population of dogs
  • A survey from 2020 revealed that 51% of UK pet dog owners think their dogs make them happy.
why people get dogs in the united kingdom
  • According to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) Report, 35% of dog owners think their dogs are great companions.

How Many Cats Are In The UK

how many cats are in the uk
  • UK Pet Food reports that the UK households owning cat population is about 12.5 million, with 29% of all households having a cat. In 2022, 12 million kittens lived in 28% (almost 30%) or 8.2 million households.
  • 24% of the U.K. adult population has 11 million pet cats. Although the UK has a similar population size of cats and dogs, a smaller proportion of adults own cats compared to dogs. This is because cat owner demographics tend to have more number of cats per owner than dog owners. Specifically, 40% of cat owners have more than one cat, while only 27% of dog owners have more than one dog.
  • According to Petplan, 61% of pet owners in London have cats.
  • Petplan states that Moggy is the most common cat breed (51%) kept as a pet in the UK.
  • 70% of UK cat owners think their cats make them less lonely.

UK Pet Population

UK Pet Population
  • According to the latest report of 2024, approximately 17.2 million households, representing 60% of the total, are estimated to own one of the 36 million pets in the UK.
  • As of the UK Pet Food Report 2023, 57% (16.2 million) of households own a pet in the UK, which is lower than in 2022, when 62% of the UK households owned a pet. Homes with cats and dogs are down slightly to 6% (3.7 million).
pet ownership statistics in UK 2024
  • PDSA 2023 findings state that 53% of UK adults have a pet. In the previous year, 52% of all UK adults owned a pet.
  • UK Pet Food states that there are almost 1.5 million indoor bird pets in the UK, with 3% of homes owning one.
  • 1 million rabbits (1.6% of households), 700,000 guinea pigs (1.2% of households, and 600,000 ( 1.5% of households) hamsters are kept as pets, according to the same report.
  • PDSA says that about 2% of UK adults, around 1.1 million, care for pet rabbits.
  • UK Pet Food adds that reptiles owned by the UK are 700,000 tortoises and turtles (1.6% of households owning one), and 600,000 pet snakes (1.3% of households owning one).
  • The same report says 21% of households have indoor fish tanks and 13% have outdoor fish tanks.
  • Since the COVID pandemic began, 3.2 million UK households have acquired a new pet.
  • 49% of UK households consider pets as part of their family.
  • According to 2022 stats, 77% of households with children have pets.
  • UK Pet Food Industry reports that in 2022, 13% of households (about 3.7 million) said they gave up a pet, and among young owners of the age group 16-24, this number goes up to 28%.

Cost Associated With Owning a Pet

pet ownership statistics uk
  • The lifetime cost of owning a dog is almost 10,000 to 16,000 pounds.
  • Braemar Finance reports that the monthly cost of keeping pets ranges from at least £35 for rabbits to £70 for dogs or cats.
  • In 2022, 9.89 million British pounds were spent on pets and pet-related products.
  • Veterinary and pet services made a total of 5.3 billion pounds in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Pet spending statistics in uk


How Many Households Are in the UK?

In 2023, the UK had around 28.4 million households, an increase of 1.6 million or 6.1% from the 26.6 million households in 2012.

How Many Dogs Are in the World?

There are 900 million dogs in the world, with more than 471 million of them kept as pets.

How Many Cats Are in the World?

Current data show that there are approximately 600 million to 1 billion cats in the world.

Final Thought

Pet ownership statistics are a fascinating glimpse at how pet parents spend their money and resources on the well-being of their beloved pets. It’s also why there is a massive trend toward understanding consumer dynamics behind these spending habits and households owning pets.

UK pet ownership is unique; this author has had the opportunity to observe the differences. Every dog owner in the United Kingdom contributes to a nation of animal lovers, shaping our pet statistics with their care and companionship.

Pet ownership has its fixed costs. You must provide food, shelter, and veterinary care as a pet parent. Those are essentials. However, your dog and cat don’t care about the extras or fancy designer labels; they care about you and spending time with you. And those, my pet-loving friends, are free to give.

Monika Martyn
Monika Martyn is a nomadic minimalist and published author. Her pet portfolio includes experience with over forty cats and dogs, and she becomes their surrogate and a valued pack member. One of her proudest accomplishments is typing while petting a fur baby on her lap. She also excels at dog-speak and cat-talk and is working on mastering fish lingo. Aside from her animal advocacy, she is passionate about the environment, plastic pollution, and living with less (not including chocolate and coffee). She practices yoga and meditation faithfully. She’s experienced living abroad and believes that together people can evoke change for the better. Or at least be kind to one another despite our differences. She has an uncanny knack for remembering people’s names. She’s proud of her two Pushcart Nominations, her debut novel, and her marriage. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. Monika believes that education is the biggest gift to humanity at any age.

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